Leviathan partners near $200m EMG pipeline deal

Leviathan gas field Photo: Noble Energy

Delek Drilling is in advanced talks with EMG in order to fulfil the $15 billion Egyptian gas export deal.

Leviathan partners Delek Drilling LP (TASE: DEDR.L) and Noble Energy Inc. (NYSE: NBL) are preparing the ground for natural gas exports to Egypt. Delek Drilling notified the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) this morning that a special shareholders meeting will discuss the acquisition of the rights to use the EMG gas pipeline between Israel and Egypt. Four months ago, the Leviathan partners signed a $15 billion natural gas deal with Egyptian company Dolphinus.

Delek Drilling wants to obtain an agreement from its shareholders to suspend dividend payments for as long as is required in order to buy the rights of EMG's pipeline for an estimated $200 million. Delek Drilling has been holding negotiations to buy the rights to the pipeline for the past few months and sources close to the deal say the talks are 'very advanced.'

The Leviathan partners see three options for exporting gas to Egypt: using EMG's existing infrastructure; via Jordan; or building a new pipeline through Kerem Shalom and the Sinai.

EMG, owned by Israeli businessman Josef Maiman, Egyptian, US, and Thai investors held sole rights to import Egyptian gas to Israel. The deal was signed in 2005 and gas began to flow in 2009 to supply Israel Electric Corporation (IEC) (TASE: ELEC.B22) at a price 40% higher than originally agreed. But the gas supply was halted in 2012 after it was repeatedly attacked in the Sinai. The gas deal was terminated and EMG and IEC were awarded $1.8 billion compensation by arbitration proceedings in Switzerland.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on June 11, 2018

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2018

Leviathan gas field Photo: Noble Energy
Leviathan gas field Photo: Noble Energy
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